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Regaining Trust is easier than it seems

ThisIsSoLonely posted 11/5/2019 11:27 AM

I was thinking about something my XH said the other day - that he did not want to do the work because I seemed unhappy and that he felt I could never trust him again. I have also listened to many people on this site and elsewhere who say that they never trust the same, and that may be, but I'm not one of those people....and I'm GLAD for that. I think that regaining trust is easier than it seems - and it's all about actions for me.

Here's how I know it can be done and I'm not sure how I'd forgotten - but I will not be infinitely broken by his behavior:

My nephew lived with me for years. First as a small child with his mom, and then later, just with me, as a teenager/young adult who was in the midst of a drug addiction, unaddressed abandonment issues, and a whole host of illegal activities. For almost 3 years my nephew looked me in the eyes and lied to me, manipulated me, used me, tricked and deceived me on a regular basis - and I mean that almost every conversation for a time was based in lies and trickery and deception. It was emotionally and mentally exhausting in much the same way that my XH's behavior was. The betrayals were seemingly endless. In a way, parts of it were worse than with my XH as whenever my nephew left I was worried for his health and his safety - was he dead somewhere as a result of the drug dealing or an overdose or some wasted vehicle accident? He would disappear for days and the worry was immense. The only time I was ever able to relax and put my guard down was when he was passed out at my house or in jail. That was it. Every day was a lie. Every day was worry. Every day was a constant stream of stress and anger and hopium...lots of that too.

Ultimately I threw him out of the house one afternoon when his vitriol became too much, which to date was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I had tried and tried and tried and given him every opportunity imaginable to turn himself around, and yet he chose to continue lying and manipulating and was filled with anger at me. I loved him like he was my own and on good days he treated me with indifference. On bad days he treated me with disdain and anger. The sadness over his choices were immense, but the decision to make him leave was for me more than for him - I simply could not take it anymore. I was all tried out.

At some point after I tossed him out on the street, he ended up in jail, which appeared to be his "rock bottom." While he was there he decided this was not the life he wanted, and that he needed help to figure himself out. He got very lucky and got out on bond that turned into a suspended sentence, where he was given the opportunity by the court to make changes to his life, and to live with me again. It was truly the "last chance" with me and for the first few months I was nervous as hell about what he was doing/where he was going/if he was lying. But, that disappeared VERY quickly...strangely fast, not because I was putting my head in the sand (I was not - I had promised my family I would turn him in at the first sign of wrongdoing to preserve the bond money which was significant - as in cost of a house significant - which my parents had taken from their retirement to pay so I was hyper-villigant to the point I rarely slept making sure he was doing what he said he was - watching his behavior, body language, his words and how he said things). Instead, it was because it was OBVIOUS via his ACTIONS that he was trustworthy and doing the right thing. He was going to NA, working regularly, and (and this was the big one) he SEEMED different. He was not secretive, was willing to talk about things differently, his whole attitude changed, and while we didn't talk a lot about the lies and betrayal much at all, we didn't need to, as it was clear things were different. His actions and the way he behaved was more evidence than I could have ever needed that things had changed.

And you know what - strangely - without my ever really thinking about it...I trusted him again - like 100%. It was to the point where when he got to his step of making amends, and he apologized and said he hoped I could trust him sometime again. And at that moment I realized - I already did (and I still do 8 years later). That point, which I remember distinctly, was a mere 6 months after he was released from jail. And yes, he did relapse, but it was momentary and even that was different precisely because HE had changed and was changing and really didn't want to be that person anymore.

So - the moral of this story isn't that I'm not capable of trust and not that you can't get that back. Because I think for most of us, or maybe at least luckily for me, I can do it, even when trust has been demolished. I reminded my XH of this story, so again, the "problem" isn't me - it's him and his actions or lack thereof.

And yes, I know, infidelity is different - but not as much as it seems really. Trust is trust is trust to me - either you have it or you don't but it can be regained. It is possible, for me. The fact that my XH does not want to make the effort to be trustworthy is on him. I guess my point of this post is that the ability to trust again is totally possible - the ability to become trustworthy is on the individual who breached it to begin with.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:32 AM, November 5th (Tuesday)]

Thissucks5678 posted 11/5/2019 17:40 PM

You know what you say is true, my oldest daughter broke my trust completely last summer - twice over the same thing. After the second time, between her and dealing with my WH, I just didnít have faith in anyone. I just kind of broke for a minute. Flash forward to this summer and now and I trust her completely. It is a bit different though. You expect teenagers and young adults to mess up and lie and not think about the consequences. Most of the time the things they do are not done TO you.

What my WH did was a much deeper betrayal. He did what he did to me. He was an adult. His actions were much more hurtful than hers could ever be. I do trust my WH again - as much as I possibly can. It does suck that I trust my daughter completely and not my WH. I donít know that I will ever use those words for him again. Thereís always that little piece of me wondering if that dumbass that lurked inside of him is going to come out again given an opportunity.

crazyblindsided posted 11/5/2019 17:45 PM

it's him and his actions or lack thereof.

Exactly! I put trust in my STBX over and over again only to be shown how he could devalue me.

It ended up having to be me to pull the plug too or he would have gladly lovebombed me right back to where I was and then start devaluing me while he took care of himself.

Not sure why I tried to put so much trust in STBX over and over again. I think I didn't want to believe WHO HE WAS. He kept showing me who he was.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/6/2019 08:33 AM

he did not want to do the work because I seemed unhappy and that he felt I could never trust him again


This is an excuse for him being lazy and just not caring enough. He's trying to deflect the responsibility back onto you. This is your fault because you won't believe him.

If he were truly remorseful, he would do the work regardless of your reaction. He would want to work on himself and become a better just to be a better person, not for any other specific outcome or reward.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 11/6/2019 10:05 AM

This is an excuse for him being lazy and just not caring enough.

Oh trust me - I KNOW that 100%. He simply does not care that much about me, or likely anyone in reality.

I think I got hung up on "can I trust again" for awhile myself, but then I realized, yes I can. Actions, when they are based in honesty, are pretty easy to read.

It is a bit different though. You expect teenagers and young adults to mess up and lie and not think about the consequences. Most of the time the things they do are not done TO you.

It is different, but not as different as you think sometimes. In my situation my nephew did do things TO me - he used me and manipulated me in ways that I still wonder how he could have done it in the moment. (Not to mention he almost got me arrested which is a long story). My point being, trust, via actions, can be regained for some of us. I realize that some people would never trust my nephew again if they were in my shoes - and that's totally understandable. You as the BS have to figure out IF you are capable of trusting again to an extent you are comfortable. For me, thinking about my 3+ years of hell with my nephew reminded me I am capable of trusting...my WH wasn't capable of (or didn't give enough of a shit) acting in a way that allowed me to trust him again. It didn't matter enough to him so he didn't.

The good news is that for me, I was worried I would never be able to trust again like I had before, and honestly that really pissed me off...but I think I was wrong there. I really think it will be possible for me going forward in my life.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/6/2019 15:28 PM

I think I got hung up on "can I trust again" for awhile myself, but then I realized, yes I can. Actions, when they are based in honesty, are pretty easy to read.


Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I'm with you.

My fch is out of town for work this week. Someone asked me if I was worried. Nope, not at all. I trust that he won't do anything inappropriate (and, I'm not naive).

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